Last updated: 28.10.14

University of Edinburgh launches online course for football fans

The University of Edinburgh has launched an online course all about football, with over 5,000 people already signed up to brush up on their knowledge or learn more about the beautiful game.

According to The Telegraph, the course lasts six weeks and covers topics including legendary rivalries in the sport from across the globe and the most successful foreign clubs. It also invites learners to think about the interaction between this much loved sport and politics, such as the the relationship between the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the allegations of corruption.

Professor Grant Jarvie, chair of sport at the University of Edinburgh and course leader, told the newspaper: “There’s a fantastic range of tools available on the course platform to enable you to do things like click on a country to see its politics or geography or examine the possible development of the World Cup.

“It’s part of our Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) programme which has proved exceedingly successful. The idea was to put football and education together for all abilities and international backgrounds and we’re using the course to excite people a little bit about these subjects – there’s quite a bit about football finances which is very intriguing – and we have videos and quizzes and will have online debates and discussions.”

The professor explained that the course investigates football in several different ways, such as how it can be used as a force or influence, citing Didier Drogba and his contribution to the peace process in the Ivory Coast as an example.

He believes the course has great depth because football makes massive social, economic, and political contributions all over the world - reasons he believes the sport always makes a good news story.

Despite it not being a degree course, it covers a range of material that will interest serious fans from all walks of life, according to Professor Jarvie. Contributors to the course - including retired footballer Alan Hansen - believe it has been developed to keep learners engaged and encourage people to share their views on social media platforms.

The new course provides further evidence of the creativity and innovation that e-learning can provide learners, as subject matter need not be limited to literacy and numeracy skills. It allows people to choose from a plethora of courses, which can be completed whenever and wherever the learner desires.